Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ten Random Things About Me

Southern Seven tagged me to write ten random things about myself and then tag five people… so here goes:

1. I was born in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. I am NOT a hillbilly. I am NOT a Clinton fan. My family tree has many, many branches. I am not married to any relative. I have all the teeth I’m supposed to have, and they’re all my own. :)

2. In high school and college my dream was to sing. I was the lead in Gershwin’s “Crazy for You,” and played Glinda in “The Wiz.” I haven’t sung a solo since my brother’s wedding many years ago. Oh, how I miss it! But the thought of singing in front of an audience has always made my palms sweat. Before a performance I’m on the verge of humiliating myself, and afterwards I’m bouncing off the walls for hours. In “Crazy for You,” I had to sing “Ahhhhhh” over the entire choir singing the chorus of “I’ve Got Rhythm,” then change keys and do it again. I sang so loud, my one note drowned out all of them!

3. I used to anchor television news. And the weather. It was fun. Until I had to warn our part of the gulf coast that a hurricane was heading towards us and they should evacuate. The Chief Meteorologist was out of town. Talk about pressure! On Christmas Eve I accidentally cursed on air. I was trying to say the weather would be nice for after-Christmas shopping and stuff, but I said it would be nice for after-Christmas sh…

4. I have held a human brain in my hands. And lungs. And livers. And a spleen. And many uterus’s (uteri?). And many colons. And a severed arm. And severed legs. And many placentas. And many gallbladders. With the brain, I actually thought (but stopped myself before I said out loud) “So, is this guy dead?” Um, probably. Don’t worry. I’m not saving them in my freezer or anything. I used to work at a pathology lab. The severed arm actually had tattoos all over it. The doctor came in, saw it, and shook the hand, saying, “Hi! How are you?” He used to walk around looking at all the stuff while eating (?!?) donuts. I couldn’t eat for hours before or after work.

5. I have an older brother who was the bane of my existence growing up. Now he’s one of my favorite people.

6. My parents divorced when I was nine. That’s how I came to Jesus. So God really does use all things for good.

7. I have a miracle table. I really, really wanted a new dining table, but thought spending what it cost was financially irresponsible. I didn’t want to “waste” savings on a want. So I prayed. Hubby found half of the cost in his closet while he was cleaning it out one day, and said we’d take the other half out of savings and buy it for me for Mother’s Day. I still felt guilty. On the way to the store I prayed that if God wanted me to have the table that it would be on sale for thirty percent off. We got there, and my heart was thundering, my palms were sweating, and I was fully prepared to walk out empty-handed if it wasn’t marked down 30%. It was marked down 50%!

8. I have a miracle truck. Hubby really wanted a new truck, but again, we didn’t think it was financially responsible to take out a loan. We had just paid off our other vehicle, and he had a perfectly good, paid-for truck. His truck was cramped, and wasn’t really powerful enough to tow the boat, but I didn’t think that was reason enough to buy another one. But he kept looking. He found exactly what he wanted, we test drove it, and it was perfect. We just were not at peace about buying it. THE NEXT MORNING, the morning he was going to make his decision, his boss called. He had been in a meeting with other department heads about evaluating pay scales across the different departments. He told them he thought hubby’s pay scale should be looked at. Out of the blue, hubby got a raise for EXACTLY the amount the truck payment would be! Both of us crying, we praised God for working out that situation. I told him, “Go get your truck! It’s okay with me and it’s okay with God!”

9. I have the cutest kids in the world. I know you think yours are, but really, mine are. I also
have the smartest kids in the world. Again, I know you think yours are, but you’re wrong.

10. I am a grammar and spelling snob. I try not to be, but it's just the way I'm wired. I still love those who aren't as perfect as I am. ;) I am also very humble. :)

Wow! That was really hard. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to write novels. Now I have to tag people???

I guess I’ll tag Jenn at Tales from the Phunny Pharm, Melissa at Life With Two, Robyn at 3 Girls Mom, Erin at Erin’s Words, and Jamie at Just Love Him.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

First Tee Ball Game

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My cute little catcher. She HATED this. The pads kept slipping around... and she was having a hard time seeing with that mask. Of course, the pink bunny mask she won at Chuck-E-Cheese tonight caused no problems at all.

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This is Christian's coach telling her she has to run after she hits the ball... and my neighbor at first base, telling her to "Run like the Boogeyman is after you!"

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So she did! At least she didn't carry her bat with her all the way to first base, which she did numerous times during practice last week!

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From first to second...

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From second to third...

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From third to fourth... Um, I mean home. Or, as Christian says, her "house run."

I know you're thinking, does she really need to post all this video??? And the answer would be, yes, she does. Is she really going to make us watch all this??? Yes, she is.

And finally, my pride and joy, perfecting her "go-to move" that she worked on throughout the entire game. Apparently, her choice of undergarments wasn't on the money today. Sorry about the shaky video, but after an hour and a half of watching her digging in front of two hundred people, I couldn't stop laughing.

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Hands off everybody... she's all mine!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Two cakes this week

Christian's school is having their annual Spring Festival tomorrow. I signed up to donate one or two cakes. Of course, I am physically unable to buy a mix, bake and frost it like any sane person...


So these are my contributions:











It was probably a good thing I went a little cake crazy this week. It kept my mind off recent depressing events... I was too busy mixing, baking, kneading, sculpting, etc. to think about it.

You may recognize the dogs from Christian's birthday cake. They're chocolate, and nobody wanted to eat them, so I re-dogged. :) I know, I know. I got a little dog-happy on this one.


Monday, March 24, 2008

A sad day

Last Tuesday we found out we were expecting our third baby. My husband and daughter were so excited, but I wasn't sure I was ready. I kept thinking, "We need a bigger house." "Cullen's not out of diapers, yet." "I need more time." "I wanted to lose weight first."

Christian wanted to tell everyone, so we let her tell the family at her birthday party on Saturday.

After church yesterday, I began cramping and bleeding.

Today I went to the doctor for a blood test. They called a couple of hours ago to tell me what I already knew.

It's amazing how much it hurts to have something taken away, that you weren't sure you were ready for... and to realize how deeply you really wanted it.

This morning before school Christian told me the baby was her favorite birthday present. I didn't have the heart to tell her.

We took her to the movies for her birthday. When we got home, she remembered the baby, and got excited all over again. We just told her, with what I'm sure weren't the right words, that the baby's gone.

It's also amazing how much it hurts to have your child weep over a baby brother or sister that she'll never meet.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Christian!

Christian's turning six on Monday. We had her party today at the Children's Museum. She wanted a dog theme, so I recreated a cake we saw at the cake show in Austin last month.
She loved it! And truth be told, so did I!

I mean, just look at that face!

I sculpted all the animals and mini dog bones out of white chocolate, the signs were gum paste, the pool water was piping gel, and everything else was fondant. After I assembled the cake, I painted color on the cobblestones, and then painted over everything with edible glitter. I don't think the sparkles show up in the pictures.

Oh, wait. You can kind of see the sparkles here.

The office house was red velvet cake, and the main cake was four alternating layers of chocolate and vanilla cake. It was even pretty after it was cut!

I was sooooo exhausted last night!

This week I baked eight layers of cake, made two batches of buttercream, and seven (or eight, I lost count!) of fondant. It's very physical work. The fondant is like very thick bread dough, and you have to knead and knead and knead before you even think about rolling it out... which isn't exactly easy, either!

I also made random decorations, like the signs, the hydrants, the dog dishes, etc. Since the dogs were chocolate, I made them last week. Hallelujah for thinking (somewhat) ahead!

I had a freaking out moment last night. I was so tired, and wasn't even finished with the gift box cake. My kitchen was an absolute wreck: cake decorations, layers of cake, buttercream, fondant, crumbs, and cornstarch EVERYWHERE!!!

The pool water was NOT this dark... I don't know why this looks so sickly.

I really didn't think I would finish either cake! God gave me an extra burst of energy just when I needed it most. I finally finished the gift box, and started on Christian's. Each time I messed up, I thought, "It's okay. It's only for us." Which is ugly, I know, but I WAS BEYOND EXHAUSTED! Once it was complete, I was happy with it. If I'd had more time, it would not have had so many mistakes and uglies, but I was just glad to go to bed at midnight!

I got up this morning and baked several dozen batches (from scratch... what is WRONG with me???) of sugar-cookie dog bones. I got mini dog bowls we found at Pet Smart, filled them with cocoa puffs, and put a cookie bone on top. I put them in plastic bags and tied them with curly ribbon. They turned out so cute! Unfortunately, no cookies were left, and I forgot to take a picture... maybe someone else did.

Happy Birthday, Baby Doll!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Latest Cake

It's been quite some time since I've made a cake for something or someone. I've made a few "for no reason" cakes in the last couple of weeks, but have missed having a cake project.

My friend's son is getting married soon, and she's throwing a couple's bridal shower. She asked me to do the cake.

It was a lot of fun. I got to use many of my new "toys"!



It was a red velvet cake, with cream cheese buttercream. Everything was from scratch, and, I think, very delicious! The lid was one layer, and the box was three.



This has been an exceptionally busy week. I did this one today, and I did Christian's birthday cake, as well. I've been working on it for a couple of weeks now. I'll post it tomorrow. Doing two
cakes at the same time takes up my entire kitchen, and my entire life, for a week!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The tooth has been found!

Last night after work (and dinner, and t-ball practice!) hubby took the bathroom sink apart. After digging (him, not me!) through lots of muck, hair and grime (now I know why the sink's been draining so slowly!) he found the tooth! I have to say, had it gotten through all that gunk, it would have been a miracle.

So Christian had a tiny little tooth to put in the tooth pillow I brought her from my trip to Nashville in January.

She wrote the tooth fairy a note:

I will translate:

Dear tooth fairy my tooth went down the drain but my tooth got found.

123 I love you.
... 123 I love you.

Come visit me tomorrow.

(lots of little hearts)

The tooth fairy left her 4 quarters, and a note of her own:

The tooth fairy made a lot of noise last night, and somehow Christian snored through it. This morning she was happy for the money and the note, but upset that the tooth fairy wasn't going to visit her today!

Little does she know, she gets to spend the day with the tooth fairy: at the Children's Museum, the Library, and the Zoo. :)

And BTW, now the sink drains like a dream!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tooth Fairy's first visit to our house!

Christian's bottom two teeth have been loose for quite some time. One of them was so loose yesterday, that at times it was sticking straight out. My sister-in-law tried many different ways to get Christian to let her pull it... without success.

She ate an apple this morning, in the hopes that it would come out, but alas, it did not.

Just minutes ago, I told her to go brush her teeth, and to be sure to brush that tooth out.

She started yelling, "Yuck! Oh, gross!"

I asked her what her problem was, and she said, "There's blood in the sink!"

Knowing her baby tooth was likely gone, I went to her, and plugged up the sink. She had brushed it right out of her mouth, without even knowing it.
She refuses to take a picture without looking like a monkey on crack.

Tonight after work, hubby gets to take the sink apart in the hopes of finding the elusive first baby tooth.

Watch out, Tooth Fairy! Christian says she's going to trap you tonight, and keep you forever!

Boys will be boys!

As I type this, my baby boy is happily playing in the bathtub... the dry bathtub that he crawled into... for the third time today. Actually, the first bathtub he crawled into was in he and his sister's bathroom. The current bathtub (second and third climbs) is in my bathroom, and is one of those garden tubs, so it's about a foot and a half deep. He is (and was, in the other bathtub) playing with the toys that he played with during last night's bath. Yes, the toys are still in the tub... from last night.

If it's not the bathtub, it's the toilet. What is with him?!?

Christian could have cared less about the bathroom. She never unrolled the toilet paper. She never splashed around in the (ugh!) toilet. She never crawled into the bathtub.

Whenever the house is eerily quiet, that's usually where we find him. Yards and yards of toilet paper festooning the bathroom like Mardi Gras, clumps of wet toilet paper on the floor, and a little boy splashing to his heart's content in the toilet! Last week there was a bag of cheetohs floating in there. Unopened, not that it matters. He walked into the living room sucking his thumb... his wet thumb... on an overly wet hand. I followed the drip trail to the toilet... washed him up, and took him to his father for a kiss! ;)

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring Break

Only my kids would wake up sick on the first day of Spring Break.

Sunday, we took them to Germapalooza McDonald's. They ate and played in the cesspool indoor playground.

This morning, Christian woke up puking up everything she's eaten in the last month, and Cullen woke up crying (which he never does) and was Grumpelstiltskin all day. He wanted to be held, while pushing away, just about the entire day. If I (gasp!) actually put him down, he would wail like I'd broken his little baby heart, and lift his arms to be picked up again. He'd sit in my lap, sucking his thumb, for a few minutes, then start the cycle over again. She stopped throwing up before noon, but felt yucky all day. He had a little fever last night, and a seal-bark kind of cough. Looks like a trip to the doctor is in our future!

Spring Break rocks!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Did I say I hate garage sales??? I LOVE garage sales!

WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT'S OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We sold just about every stinking thing we stuck out there today... I'm amazed at the crap gently used items people will buy.

Christian wanted to sell stuff, too, because we told her she'd get to keep the money she made. She wanted the money, but she didn't want to get rid of any of her stuff! She kept bringing my crap gently used items that I wasn't ready to part with. Finally I told her I'd take her to the store and buy some drinks and snacks for her to set up a snack shack with, and I'd let her keep half of whatever money she made (don't judge me... I had to buy the stuff!). That kid had $83 in her cash box!!!

It was a really great day to do it. It was cold when we got up (33!!!) but I think warmed up to the mid-sixties, and a beautiful, cloudless sky.

Hope you had a good Saturday, too. TIME CHANGE TONIGHT!!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Mindless Ramblings

Hosted by Five Minutes for Mom, the Ultimate Blog Party 2008 is about getting your blog noticed, meeting new people, and having fun blogging. Fun, fun, fun!

So, here goes.

I'm a former Christian school teacher, former sales rep, former television news anchor/reporter/weathergirl... and now slave to three: my husband, and two kids. It's the best job ever! I love to read, relax in a hot bubble bath, preferably at the same time... but don't get to all that often! I stay up way too late, eat way too much junk, and am trying to rectify both! I am a Christian thirty-something, and have an awesome husband... he's bathing the kids right now! I'm a mother to two: an almost six year old girl, and a 14 month old boy, and may have a couple more before we're "done."

Not much has happened since Cullen's fateful first haircut last Friday, although I'm not over it yet. The poll on my blog shows the majority of people aren't crazy about it, either. My husband says I'd be a shoo-in for CNN with my "mainstream media-type" poll. I happen to like it... except for the fact that daily he asks about the results, and TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE VOTING WRONG! This is my blog, people, and I believe I made it quite clear how my little heart was broken by his haircut, and I think you should all vote on one of the top three options. If nothing else but in a show of solidarity with me. ;)

Christian decided (at the last millisecond!) to play t-ball this year, so off we went to Academy Wednesday night to buy baseball pants, bat (pink, of course) glove (pink, of course) and ball (white, with pink stitching). She's gonna look like a bottle of Pepto-Bismol threw up on her. I'll post a picture of her once I get her all dressed up. I know she'll be too cute! She was a little disappointed that we didn't buy the pink sparkly bat. It was double the price of the plain pink bat, and she has a habit of being forced to finish the season's activities!

She's turning six in two weeks, and we're trying to organize her party. I say trying, because she changes her mind about the theme every other day. I say we, because I do ask my husband's opinion... but it's usually wrong. ;) I'm past the point-of-no-return now, because I made the invitations Wednesday night. It took me a few hours... since she changed her mind after I had already started. I'm NOT re-re-designing them! It's a dog party. Seriously. Makes me long for the days when I could do my "Mommy Mind Manipulation" and get her party theme something girlier without her knowing it wasn't her idea! Don't act like you didn't do it, too!

And lastly, our neighborhood is having its biannual neighborhood garage sale. Saturday. You know, tomorrow? Um, all I've done is pull junk from my kitchen cabinets that I haven't used in years, and set it on the counter. Still have many more rooms, closets, and cabinets to go. Not to mention pricing it all. And cleaning out the garage. And setting the stuff up. And sitting in a dreary garage all day, when I could be working on Christian's birthday cake.

As you can see from today's earlier post, Cullen and I spent the morning procrastinating playing.

I hate garage sales. Did you notice?

On to something much more fun...

There are so many cool prizes to be won at this year’s Ultimate Blog Party, but my top five picks would be:

The Blog Design provided by Sweet 'n Simple Design
The Bead Dangle Photo Tile Necklace provided by Elemental Memories
The Custum Blog Design provided by Summer
Twelve Basic Boutique Bows by MommyMandy.com
The Webcam provided by Liz.


And if my top four picks are already chosen, I’d love any of the following: 14, 17, 32, 38, 44, 58, 59, 60, or 68.


WHAT A PARTY!

Now, head over to http://www.5minutesformom.com/ and join in!

A Playful Morning

Cullen took a (short-lived!) break from his clinginess today. He re-discovered his ride-on fire truck, and was having a good ole time riding it back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. He still hasn't figured out how to navigate, but this will do, for now!

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When he realized I had the camera out, he tried everything within his little baby power to get it...

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Even to the point of climbing on me to get closer to the prize!


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We had fun... tickling, chasing, hugging, kissing, cuddling, laughing... just enjoying Mommy & Baby time.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Breakfast for Dinner

I don't know about anybody else, but some nights, I just don't feel like cooking. Surely I'm not the only one.;)

So tonight, when hubby called saying he was on his way home from work, I told him we were having breakfast for dinner... he was okay with that. It's a good thing, too, otherwise he'd be making himself a bologna sandwich.

I thought I had nine eggs, which would be plenty. I put some biscuits in the oven, peeled and finely diced a potato, and put some butter in a skillet to brown the potato in. When I actually opened the egg carton, I only had six! Not enough for a family of four.

Then inspiration struck!!!

I got out another pan and put a little less than 2 tablespoons of butter in it. Once the butter melted, I added about 1/4 cup of sugar, about a teaspoon of corn starch, and about 1 tablespoon of molasses. Once that got all bubbly, I poured in betwen 3/4 of a cup and one cup of milk, and about 1/4 cup white corn syrup. Last, I poured in some vanilla... probably about a teaspoon. (sorry for all the "abouts" but I didn't measure any of it) While that cooked, I peeled and chopped two Granny Smith apples. I waited until the sauce thickened some, and then put the apples in to cook for about ten minutes. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE!!! I know it's sinfully bad for you, but those apples weren't getting eaten, and Cullen gobbled these up!

So my simple dinner ended up using four pots/pans, and one baking stone, none of which can go in the dishwasher!!! We had scrambled eggs, diced potatoes, biscuits & gravy, and caramel diced apples... a.k.a. "breakfast heaven."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Works for Me Wednesdays

This is my first "Works for Me Wednesday" post. I found it at Rocks In My Dryer. Being new, I'm not completely sure what it's all about, but I do know that today is a backwards day... which means you guys help me with a problem I'm having. I think regular WFMW's I try to tell you a cool trick I have that helps me out...

Anyway, my problem:

Since I quit working, Cullen has become the world's clingiest baby. I can't even go to the bathroom alone. I usually take him to his room to play and then sneak out. I'm running for the bathroom, only to glance over my shoulder and see him toddling as fast as he can after me. I shut the door, only to have him jiggling the doorknob, crying outside, and sticking his fingers under the door. It's becoming very problematic.

Last Tuesday I went to Ladies' Bible Study at church, and they had to move him into a different room because his incessant crying was setting off all the other babies! I have all but stopped going to church on Sundays, because it's just a matter of time before they flash my number on the screen, signaling for me to get him the heck out of dodge. The last time I went, we got through praise & worship, only to see our number. We didn't hear a bit of the sermon!

He expects to be held/entertained ALL. DAY. LONG. Mostly by me. Apparently he thinks his father is incapable... I'll leave that one alone!

Help!